On this day in 1913, one of the greater astronomer – Guillermo Haro, was born in Mexico. Google knows how to commemorate such occasions when it released its new Google Doodle for March 21 celebrating the 105th birthday of the late astronomer who discovered flare stars and types of nebulae that exist in the cosmos. He became the first Mexican elected to the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1959 where he became the first president.
Guillermo Haro was born on 21st March 1913 in Mexico City. Although he is known for his discoveries in astronomy, he didn’t want to become an astronomer. Instead, he studied philosophy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and then intended to undertake a degree in Law. However, astronomer Luis Enrique Erro asked Haro to join him as his assistant at the Tonantzintla Observatory in 1942 to which, Haro agreed to cite his interest in astronomy. Later, he went to train on observatories in the United States including Case Institute of Technology and Harvard College Observatory after which, he returned to Tonantzintla in 1945.
Haro made an eccentric discovery of a type of planetary nebulae named as ‘Herbig-Haro objects’ as he shared the credit with George Herbig who performed an independent research on it. Herbig-Haro objects as it is known now are bright clouds objects that are formed when jets of ionized gas radiating from young stars collides with nearby clouds of dust and gas. These objects last for few thousand years which is classified as short live by astronomical standards and they change their appearance dramatically over a matter of few years throughout their lifespan.
According to the data, Haro was one of the first few astronomers to contemplate that these objects [herbig-haro] are formed due to the cosmically violent process of star formation. Moving further, Haro was also responsible for the discovery of flare stars which is a red and blue cluster of stars found in the Orion constellation. These flares are so-called between of their unpredictable surge in brightness across the whole electromagnetic spectrum which occurs within a matter of few minutes.
Researchers now believe that the most of the flare stars in the cosmos are dim red dwarfs with the exception of some high-intensity solar flares. Earth’s two closest neighbor, Barnard’s Star and Proxima Centauri are two flare stars. Haro was responsible for the discovery of Haro-Chavira comet which is the designation “C/1954 Y1” and has an eccentricity of 1.0004667. The comet has a perihelion distance of 4.076871AU.
In 1945 when Haro returned to work at the Tonantzintla Observatory when he met his wife, an eminent Mexican journalist Elena Poniatowska who worth an award-winning book about her husband and her intellect. She has been recorded saying that he was attracted by Haro’s intellect and he used to flatter him. Citing to a Steven Spielberg movie, she pointed out how Guillermo hated the UFOs and aliens shown and why it made him upset. In 1959, Guillermo Haro was roped in to become the first president of Royal Astronomical Society. In 1986, he won the award for Lomonosov Medal from the USSR Academy of Sciences. He died on 26th April 1988.